A shared passion
Recycling collaboration to eliminate bunker tarps from landfill
September 06, 2023

GrainCorp is partnering with plastics recycler Sustainable Plastic Solutions (SPS) to eliminate grain tarpaulins from landfill by 2027.

GrainCorp has already recycled more than 100 tonnes, or 107,679 kilograms of tarps, which cover and protect bunkers of grain against weather and damage, from sites in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria over the last year.

The companies are also investigating how to take the next step and restore the recycled tarp material into new tarps, in a circular economy set-up.

GrainCorp Head of Sustainability Mick Anderson said the innovative partnership will help to build a more sustainable tarp management process for the grains industry.

“Tarps are a critical part of our storage network, each one covers and protects up to 3,000 tonnes of grain or oilseed in GrainCorp’s bunkers,” he said.

“We treat them carefully to keep them in operation for as long as possible, but they’re exposed to the elements and eventually wear out, which can put anywhere from 250 – 600kg of material out of action each time.

“It’s great to secure a sustainable waste solution for the end-of-life tarps, and to be exploring the potentials of a circular solution over time.”

GrainCorp’s General Manager of Sustainability, Mick Anderson
Used tarps waiting to be recycled at the SPS facility in Hamilton, Victoria

SPS formed in Hamilton, Victoria in 2022 to offer solutions for plastics in the agriculture sector.

CEO of SPS Matt Nettleton said once the tarps reach SPS, they go on quite the journey to be reclaimed for other uses.

“The tarps are washed, shredded, melted and pelletised before being sent off to our industry partners to become anything from industrial walkways or floor grids for shearing sheds, to seats for our sport stadiums,” he said.

“We’ve received tarps from as far north as Emerald in Queensland, right down to the sites here in the Western District of Victoria.”

“The scale of production is enormous and the opportunity to make a sustainable difference to the grains industry is very exciting.”

CEO of SPS, Matt Nettleton
Tarps covering GrainCorp bunkers at Yamala, Queensland

GrainCorp’s goal to achieve zero tarpaulins to landfill by 2027 reflects the company’s commitments to minimising plastic pollution and forge a more sustainable future for the agriculture industry.

“We’re excited to partner with GrainCorp and take a significant step towards a greener future for the bulk handling sector, and for GrainCorp’s east coast network of receival sites,” Matt said.

About Sustainable Plastic Solutions (SPS)

Sustainable Plastic Solutions (SPS) is an Australian owned and operated End-to-End plastic recycling business, based in Hamilton in regional Victoria.

SPS was established in 2022 and focuses on collection and recycling of agricultural plastics. Our mission is to develop circularity in agricultural plastics that have historically had low recycling rates.  We recycle these products into high quality resins developed to customer specifications, that can go back into producing the original products in a true circular economy.

The facility is in a regional location and is therefore uniquely positioned to service regional and national customers from across Australia. In doing so, we understand and work with regional businesses to recycle materials which have often been deemed problematic due to distance, cost, and quality.

Our motto is Green Without Compromise.  We strive to make plastic recycling as sustainable as possible by producing recycled resins of a high enough quality to displace prime/virgin material.  We have a mandate to be fully carbon neutral by 2026.

Plastics from tarps being recycled at the SPS Facility in Hamilton, Victoria.

Media enquiries.

Jess Simons

Corporate Affairs & Government Relations Manager

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